Presenting a wide range of images embodying the themes of reduction and of clarity through austerity, Minimum draws inspiration from the same sources that have shaped the designs and ideas of objects and buildings for millennia. The book both embodies and presents a sequence of ideas that have influenced John Pawson and other artists in their search for simplicity. Minimum is a visual essay by a well-known architect, both expressing and embodying the ideas of reduction, of simplicity, of austerity and of repetition. The pages reveal stark but beautiful images of architecture and engineering, of ceramics and furniture, of photography and works of art, from many periods and cultures, that all combine to express the idea of simplicity. As the author explains in his introduction, these ideas find expression in art and design and have their beginnings in the realms of religious and philosophical convictions. The austerity of a Cistercian monastery or the simplicity of a Zen garden are both emanations of the same urge to reduce, to make clear, to unburden.Through a sequence of carefully orchestrated pictures, this book clarifies the way in which this mode of thinking has inspired the work of artists and architects from Ancient Egypt to contemporary Japan. Minimum is a work of art in its own right. Its design and production values help to reinforce the ideas of the author, creating an extraordinarily beautiful and desirable book, now available in a paperback edition that represents excellent value for money.
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